I have a lot of patience during storytimes. You have to. Today, however, I was lacking a bit. Consider this exchange:
Me (reading Audrey Woods’ Piggies): Show me your fat piggies!
Girl (sitting in right in front of me, obviously looking for attention) lifts her thumb with an audible sigh/moan.
Me: Show me your smart piggies!
Girl lifts pointer finger with another moan.
Me: Show me your long piggies!
Girl lifts index finger and… wait for it… moans.
Me (exasperated, but in a very nice way, to girl): You don’t have to do this with us, but please stop whining at me!
Normally, I would ignore things like that, but today for some reason it bugged me. And if it was such a chore to lift her fingers, maybe preschool wasn’t the place to be that day.
My patience levels were recharged later that day, though, when I was able to help two limited-Spanish speaking teachers (I am fortunate enough to be a fluent Spanish speaker) convince a whimpering, crying boy that they were not leaving, and his friend would stay right by his side. By the end of the storytime he was not only not crying, but smiling, laughing, and playing along. THAT makes my job totally worthwhile, and makes dealing with the “sighers” on occasion tolerable.